Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Online Bookshelf - Junkie!

Don't know which is more perfectly noir, the cover or the title.  Available for free download at Munsey's.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ms. Torquemada

I had to be hauled off the plane on Friday in a wheelchair.  The cheerful little sadist in the purple leotard who worked me over at physical therapy yesterday morning tells me I have an irritated bursa.

(I have deliberately not Googled for "irritated bursa."  I prefer the mental vision of a furry little Maurice Sendak-like monster rising up out of a bog and yawping at me).

Himself is peeved.  We are going to be in Pennsylvania in August for Air Force Nephew #2's wedding (he's going to be there for the wedding, I'm going to be there for Gettysburg) and he's afraid I won't be able to maintain the regulation 30-inch stride while I'm hiking around the Poconos after him.

Knitting - Jack Frost Sweaters From 1951

From our friends at Purple Kitty, another vintage knitting book, with 30 classic women's sweater patterns.  Free.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vintage Advertising - Coca Cola

From Every Week magazine, May 15th, 1916.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Keeping The World Safe For Bureaucracy

On the road again (on Delta, not by stage and not with either of these two, darn it), to a training conference in Tennessee.  I won't be back until late Friday, so blogging is suspended until Caturday!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


'Tis More Blessed

One of my Air Force* nephews is getting married this summer.  He and his bride have requested donations in lieu of wedding presents.

(*I know.  Air Force -- le sigh.  But blood is thicker than water).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things You Learn The Hard Way

I would have thought, myself, that it would take more than some brown fluid seeping through the ceiling of the Americorps room to send Smitty high and to the right.

He calmed down once we determined it was coming from a malfunctioning coffee machine in the county Child Support Services office directly overhead.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crochet - Swinging Vintage Pattern Book

Current Attractions, a book of mostly crochet patterns including a rug shaped like a cat.  No publication date given, but it appears to have a lot 60's/70's inspiration.  Patterns can be downloaded free from Purple Kitty.

Enough, Already

I can't wait for the day when someone's sexual orientation makes as much difference to the average American as, oh, where they went to primary school.  It would be a nice sign that we've caught up to the rest of the civilized world.

Just hope it happens in my lifetime.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's In A Name?

"Franks go  'Mexican' in Wienie-lottas.  Easy on the cook as well as the budget."


8 to 10 frozen tortillas
2 10 ½ oz cans chili without beans
1 T. instant minced onion
6 to 8 drops bottled hot pepper sauce
1 pound (8 to 10) frankfurters
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup seeded and chopped canned green chili peppers
4 oz sharp natural Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Cook tortillas in water according to package directions.  Combine next three ingredients.  Place a frank on each tortilla; top each with 2 tablespoons chili mixture (reserve remaining).  Roll tortillas around franks.  Arrange, seam side down, in 12 x 7 ½ x 2 inch baking dish.  Combine remaining chili mixture and tomato sauce; pour over tortillas.  Sprinkle with chili peppers.  Bake at350° for 25 to 30 minutes.  Top with cheese.  Serves 4 or 5.

From Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book, 1968, a time when evidently tortillas were still exotic enough to be only widely available frozen.  There are things I don't miss about the good old days; I can remember being stationed in Quantico in 1979 and inquiring about the closest Mexican restaurant, only to be assured that there was a Taco Bell in Woodbridge.

I don’t feel bad about posting Mexican recipes two weeks in a row because I really don’t think this counts as Mexican.  I’m awfully slow – it took me two readings of the recipe before I got the “wienie-lotta” reference.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Online Bookshelf - The Square Book of Animals

With poems and woodcuts.  The bulldog is particularly fine.  From Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Other Crafts - "Magic" Flowers

I remember doing this as a probably should have come with some kind of warning, though. The fumes from the ammonia and the Mercurochrome, if that's even still available, would probably give you a massive headache.

(Posted as a curiosity only.  I don't recommend trying it!)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sexto de Mayo

“An announcement that my lesson for the day would be Spanish dishes, invariably brought record-breaking crowds in any city in the United States, and a demand for recipes induced me to search for the best to be found.
My three years' stay in California has enabled me to learn how to prepare the very best dishes directly from the natives, both Mexican and Spanish.
It is not generally known that Spanish dishes as they are known in California are really Mexican Indian dishes. Bread made of corn, sauces of chile peppers, jerked beef, tortillas, enchiladas, etc., are unknown in Spain as native foods; though the majority of Spanish people in California are as devoted to peppery dishes as the Mexicans themselves, and as the Mexicans speak Spanish, the foods are commonly called Spanish dishes.”
Bertha Haffney-Ginger, author of the California Mexican-Spanish Cookbook, wrote this in 1914 when she was chief of the Los Angeles Times School of Domestic Science.  Although she herself was a Virginian and trained in both French and American cooking, she apparently fell in love with both the area and the local cuisine when she travelled out West in 1911.  She took the job at the Los Angeles Times and never looked back.  Unlike many other cooking experts of the time, she did not try to tame her recipes to suit American tastes.  Her salad dressings sound fiery (her spellings are her own).
Spanish Dressing No. 1
Rub mixing bowl with button of garlic, break into bowl one egg yolk, whip stiff, add one-fourth cup best olive oil slowly, then one-fourth cup lemon juice, tablespoon prepared vinegar, teaspoon sugar, half teaspoon salt, tablespoon green chile pulp. Very fine.
Spanish Dressing No. 2
Six tablespoons of best olive oil in bowl, add gradually three tablespoons lemon juice and one of prepared vinegar, one teaspoon brown sugar, half teaspoon salt, tablespoon red chile pulp, stir with rotary motion until a thick cream, serve at once on salad.

Chile Pulp and Sauces for all Recipes

Chile peppers are the base of all Mexican and Spanish dishes, and I have simplified the various recipes by making a list of different ways to make the pepper pulps and sauces. Please note that they are numbered and named, referred to by number and name in the recipes. Original way to prepare chile for sauce is to remove seed and toast on coals, top of stove or in oven, till they puff and look tender; and mash through sieve or colander; add water or tomatoes for right consistency; scalding is the quickest.

No. 1, Red Chile Sauce, for Enchiladas or Tamales, etc.

Split red chile pepper, remove all seeds and veins, soak several hours in water, pour off, pour on boiling water, pour off and repeat again, the last water just enough to cover peppers when pressed down. Mash in this water and press through sieve, melt one-half cup pure lard, add heaping tablespoon flour, brown and add three cups of chile pulp, salt to taste, cook very slowly half hour.

No. 2, Green Chile Sauce for Enchiladas or Tamales, etc.

Split, remove seeds and veins from green chiles and boil in little hot water till tender; mash, press through sieve, melt one-fourth cup lard, add two tablespoons flour, teaspoon salt, brown just a little, add three cups green pulp, cook slowly half hour.

Prepared Spanish Sauce

Take equal parts red and green chile peppers, same amount green and red sweet peppers, split, remove seed from all, soak in water, drain, add enough water to barely cover, boil tender, mash in water, press through sieve, heat half cup olive oil, fry in it one-half cup onion, one-half parsley, three garlic buttons, tablespoon aregano, two cups raw tomatoes, six cloves, two cups of the pepper pulp, salt to taste, cook, strain, may heat and bottle larger quantities, very fine.

Spanish Pickle

Heat quart apple vinegar, add tablespoon salt, twenty cloves, two tablespoons aregano, two of cominos, boil five minutes, let cool, pour over small red and green chiles, wild tamatillos (wild tomatoes) and put up in jars.

Green Chile Relish, No. 1

Remove seed and veins from twelve large green chiles, soak overnight in water with little salt in it, chop and measure one quart green tomatoes, chop chiles, one cup cucumber, 1 garlic button, cook altogether until a pulp, press through sieve, add one-half cup lemon or lime juice, tablespoon salt. Fine over cold meats, fish, oysters, eggs, croquettes, roast pork, mix with apple sauce; serve on fried apple fritters.

Red Chile Relish, No. 2

Make same as green, substitute ripe tomatoes and red chiles. You may bottle, seal tightly each sauce; will keep indefinitely.
Her cookbook can be downloaded, free, from Project Gutenberg.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Thursday, May 3, 2012


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Knitting - A Carriage Robe from 1949

A carriage blanket knitted in a variation of feather and fan stitch, from Workbasket magazine, June 1949. There are a few words smudged on the second page but you should be able to continue knitting in pattern (she says brazenly).

I'm pretty sure the blurry sentence reads:  Row 13 - K10, p across, K last 10 st.